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Over Four DECADES, Two Couples Dedicate Their Lives To Adopting 88 Special Needs Children!

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It has been over four decades since one couple made the choice to adopt 88 children with special needs throughout the years, in an effort to provide for each of them a worthwhile life.

Mike and Camille Gerardi of Ellijay, Georgia, had first set eyes on each other back in 1973 when they both worked at Miami Children’s Hospital, Camille as a nurse and Mike as a pediatrician. Both grew close each other over their duel dedication to the children they served, who through disease or disability, were left in dire need of special care and a loving home.

At the time the two medical professionals met, Camille had already brought in and started raising three children in her home. It was when she and Mike decided to get be wed two years after they met, that he told her that there was more that he wanted to do.

Camille shared the words that had sparked their lifetime of service:

‘When Mike asked me to marry him, I told him I want to make a home for handicapped kids, and he said “I want to follow your dream.”‘

Unfortunately, Mike passed away back in 2016 after a long struggle with cancer. They say you can measure a man by the contents of his heart, and with Mike, it doesn’t take much digging to see what his heart was filled with. Together, both he and Camille adopted dozens of special needs orphans from the hospital, giving the children a happy, supportive home that many of them would have never had the chance to have.

Some were born with disabilities, others had struggled with serious injuries and some, sadly, had the life trial of suffering from terminal conditions.

According to Camille:

‘The children I took in were expected to die, but so many of them have lived.’

Daily Mail:

They lost 32 children over the years, but others have gone on to lead full and happy lives, such as the couple’s oldest living adopted child, Darlene, who is 32 and lives in a group home in Florida.

While adopting dozens of children in need, Camille and Mike also welcomed three of their own biological children, with the eldest of their two daughters now 40 and working as a nurse.

In addition to the struggle of losing so many children, the couple didn’t have things easy. They lost their home to a hurricane in 1992, and were forced to move again in 2011 when their North Carolina home was struck by lightning and burnt down.

Then, last year, the family also had to suffer through the loss of Mike to an aggressive form of cancer.

‘I couldn’t cry, or my children would’ve fallen apart,’ said Camille.

Back when they had adopted 18 children, the couple created the Possible Dream Foundation, which helps disabled children and their families with everything from education to job training.

The foundation has also assisted the couple with their work, and even helped to hire two employees to supplement help from volunteers.

Camille is still committed to the cause, and currently has 20 children in her home in Georgia to look after.

 

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